Clay Rotary: “Killer Ds” Pace Fleming With Titles

By SHANNON HEATON
Northeast Florida Matmen

GREEN COVE SPRINGS — The rules were the same for everyone: Each team had 16 slots within which they score points.

But with only 11 wrestlers available for the weekend’s Clay Rotary, #1 Fleming Island knew that every point, every victory, every medal was going to have extra value. As it worked out, the Golden Eagles’ 11 couldn’t pull off the feat of overcoming Clay’s 16, but each Fleming wrestler had at least four matches, nine of them placed and a 10th was right on the doorstep of placing.

Leading the charge were three weight-class champions — the entire rest of the Northeast coverage area, Clay included, had four — as the Killer Ds trio of Tracy Davis (126), Paul Detwiler (138) and Jason Davis (195) all won Saturday afternoon, all against Clay wrestlers.

Fleming had an additional finalist in Jose Concepcion at 220, with Albie Snedaker (106), Deandre Demus (113), Xaiver Sampsel (132) and Ryan Smenda all taking thirds and Jacob Sandoval (120) finishing fourth.

Tracy Davis got some continuing vindication in his two-year battle with Clay’s Dale Browning for county dominance, if not area dominance, of the 126-pound weight class. After Browning got the first wins in 2014-15, Davis broke through at Uncivil War 2016 nine days earlier. This past weekend, Davis got to the semis with two falls and a major, then decisioned Buchholz’s Gant Moore 6-1 to earn a rematch with Browning. Instead of getting one quick turn as he had at Uncivil, Davis earned two, for five near-fall points, holding off a late charge for a 5-3 victory.

“I got better from last year, and I did want to get some revenge after he beat me twice last year,” Davis said. “I knew that I just had to get one or two points and then I could win. I know I’m going to get tough matches down the road, but I haven’t lost in a long time, haven’t gotten taken down in a long time.”

Detwiler, too, was feeling some need for vindication in the 138 final against Clay’s Julian Summa, particularly after the Blue Devil senior and top-ranked 138 in 1A dictated terms — and won the match as a result — at Uncivil, Detwiler wanted to go back what had worked for him in the first time the pair had met, at Kiwanis in December. This time as then, Detwiler pushed the pace, and this time as he did then, Detwiler won, 9-3. That title followed a pin and two techs on Friday, and then a dominant 14-2 major decision in the semis over Bishop Moore’s Aaron Mason.

“The major focus of this entire week was that match (at Uncivil),” Detwiler said. “I had to look back to see what I did at Kiwanis against him. I was much more assertive against him than in the dual meet. I just had to not stress as much and loosen up. (Winning Rotary) means a lot, since he did beat me in the dual.”

Jason Davis wasn’t happy after winning for the third time over Kaleb Collins to take the 195 title, after winning twice by fall in the first period on Friday and then taking an 11-2 major over Creekside’s Gus Fischer in the semis. Davis did get a solid takedown in the second period, and that was the difference in a 5-3 decision.

“Worst match of the tournament. I didn’t open up, I should have opened up and taken more shots, I did get a couple snapdowns, but overall I should have wrestled better. Not happy with it,” Davis said.

At 220, Concepcion showed the progress made from a freshman year when he lost by fall to then-junior Scott Dollison of First Coast. He had two falls to get to Saturday, picked up a takedown when needed in the semis to turn back Clay’s Jeremy Beaulieu, 3-1, and reach Dollison, now at Episcopal in the final, where he hung in — but couldn’t assert control — in a 6-5 loss.

The quartet of thirds for the Golden Eagles came about under very different circumstances.

At 106, Snedaker had two falls and a major to get to the semis, but couldn’t find a way in his third match in a week with eventual champ Ethan Pickren of Arnold, falling 6-0. From there, Snedaker was in control, shutting out Ben Buhler of Tampa Prep, 4-0, in the consi semis and then decisioning Suwannee’s Brandon Trask, 4-2, for third.

Demus had three falls to get to the semis at 113, but couldn’t stave off the late charge from Clay’s Peyton Hughes, who forced overtime and then rode out Demus for a 10-9 semifinal victory. Demus then took care of business twice more, handling Middleburg’s Briar Jackson 12-6 in the consi semis and Clay’s Chris Merring, 5-1, for third.

Xaiver Sampsel also had three falls to get to the semis, getting a rematch with 1A defending state champ Richie McClanahan of Arnold there. A late score couldn’t get Sampsel over the top, as he fell, 3-2, but then was dominant in the consi rounds, with a 75-second fall of Tampa Jesuit’s Grayson Fisher in the consi semis and then controlled the third-place match against Tampa Prep’s Ashton Habeil, winning with an 11-3 major.

Smenda, too, had three falls on Friday, and was even with Arnold’s Brian Girard through six minutes, but Girard found a way in overtime to get a takedown, taking a 4-2 victory. Smenda had a medical-forfeit victory in the consi semis and pinned Matanzas’ Maverick Dennis in 4:07 for third.

Sandoval, at 120, had a fall and decision to get to the semis, where Orange Park’s Marcus Reid proved to be too much, pinning Sandoval in 2:35. Sandoval rallied immediately with a 14-2 major over Ridgeview’s Justin Trinh in the consi semis, but Columbia’s Chace Curtis proved more than equal to the task in the third-place match, pinning Sandoval in 4 minutes even.

Fleming heavy Brandyne Mackey was one match short of placing; after two falls, Mackey took a 5-3 quaterfinal loss against Lincoln’s Thomas Moss. Mackey won his first consi match, but then dropped an overtime loss to Bishop Kenny’s Josiah McCallum, 3-1, an opponent that he’d pinned in round 2.

Shoen leads Broncos to 10th: Jonathan Shoen’s dominant performance in the 170 bracket propelled Middleburg to a 10th-place overall finish in the tournament, as the Broncos scored 94.5 points, with four placers.

The dominant story was Shoen, though, who didn’t have a single match go six minutes in the entire tournament. That included two falls and a tech fall on Friday, a 46-second semifinal pin over Ridgeview’s Daryn Tucker Brown, and a fall over Will Haigler of Florida High in 1:47. When the placers were finalized, Shoen had beaten four of the other six.

“It’s a really big deal, particularly coming off the win at Flagler (Rotary the previous weekend),” Shoen said. “Anything less than first would have been disappointing for me.”

Shoen’s loss by major decision to Fleming’s John Martorano — who wasn’t at Clay Rotary due to injuries that had him in a walking boot all weekend — was an eye-opener. “I had to get more aggressive in neutral and get better at protecting my legs,” he said of the lessons learned from that loss.

Middleburg also got a fifth from Kurt Jackson at 195 and sixths from Briar Jackson at 113 and Dylan Rossetti at 126.

Kurt Jackson lost by just one point in the Friday-night quarterfinals to Florida High’s Cam Brown, but other than 30 bad seconds on Saturday, the rest of his tournament was solid. Jackson won twice in the consis to secure his podium spot, then took a 30-second loss by fall in the consi semis, but rallied with a second-period fall over Palatka’s Bryan Smith for fifth.

Briar Jackson also had a tough quarterfinal loss Friday night, falling 11-8 to eventual champion Jacques Hale of Sandalwood (more later on him), but Jackson was solid in two easy consi-round wins. He lost to Demus in the consi semis, and then took a loss by fall in the fifth place match, falling in 1:44 against Bishop Moore’s Emauni Smithson.

Rossetti also lost in the quarters, to eventual 126 champ Tracy Davis, but had two solid wins in the consis to earn a podium spot. From there, though, things went south, as he fell, 16-6, in the consi semis to Raines’ Jaquan English and then landed awkwardly in his fifth-place match with Nease’s Tristen Lucessi, forcing him to concede by injury default.

Bigs lift Eagles to 12th: No team did more with less than Episcopal this weekend.

With just four wrestlers suited up at Clay, the Eagles saw two of them take home brackets and a third one place, as Episcopal finished 12th in the tournament with 80 points.

As touched on earlier in the article, Dollison brought home the title at 220. After three first-period falls on Friday to get to the semis, Dollison got some revenge for his first loss of the season to Lincoln’s Josh Martin at Capital City, majoring Martin 11-3. Then, in the finals, Dollison did enough early and late to hold off Fleming’s Concepcion, 6-5, in the championship match.

“I had a few messups, I realized, earlier in the season, and I knew there would be at least two guys here that I wanted to wrestle,” Dollison said. “People have been hard on me after those losses, but they woke me up. I tried harder in practice because I wanted to show people I’m still who I was. If I hadn’t had that losses, I wouldn’t have known what they felt like going into state.”

It’s been a banner week for Conor Chepenik, after winning the Raines 5 Star event a week ago and then making his college decision midweek, to go to Tufts University and play football. That weekend capped off with the 285 title, which followed two falls on Friday, a 3-1 semifinal win over Suwannee’s Rossie Williams. Chepenik got a late takedown against Columbia’s Marcus Zeighler, good for a 5-3 win.

“I’ve gotten hot at the right time,” Chepenik said. “Last time I lost to him (Zeighler), I got down early and took some stupid shots against him. Something just snapped in me and I was able to get him for that final takedown. It was exactly how I wanted it to end. Knowing where I’m going (for college), it’s a huge stress relief off my shoulders. I can just focus on wrestling.”

Christian Rickey added a sixth at 170 after losing by fall to Middleburg’s Shoen in the first round. Rickey had to win four matches to earn that place finish, and he did just that, with two falls, a forfeit and decision. From there though, he lost by major in the consi semis and took a 7-0 loss to Clay’s Caleb Steinmetz in the fifth-place match.

Hale adds Clay title to resume: For Sandalwood, 15th wasn’t where the Saints want to finish, but that’s where they ended up, scoring 70 points with two placers.

After finishing second a year ago, winning the 113-pound title was exactly where Jacques Hale wanted to finish this weekend. There were anxious moments, particularly on Saturday, but he got it done. Hale had a fall, major and decision on Friday and then turned back Clay wrestlers in successive matches for both the semis and final, first 6-4 in the semi over Chris Merring and then 4-2 in extra time over Peyton Hughes.

“There were a lot of tough kids, but a lot of good things happened. I wanted to finish the (regular) season all right, make my teammates and coaches happy,” Hale said. “The goal was to prepare for regionals and state. I feel like right now I have a good chance to go somewhere, but you shouldn’t really feel comfortable about anything ever. I want to improve, and I don’t want to feel satisfied.”

Cameron Bell added a fourth-place finish for the Saints at 138. Bell had a fall, a major and decision to get to the semis, and pushed Clay’s Summa to the limit before falling, 3-2, in that round. Bell had no problem in the consi semis, winning that match by fall, but then lost by fall in the third period against Bishop Moore’s Aaron Mason in the third-place match.

Alex Barie (106) was one match short of placing for Sandalwood, reaching the quarterfinals, losing by disqualification there against Oakleaf’s Ryan Rosano after building an early lead according to his coaches, but was DQ’d for stall warnings. Barie rallied with a 60-second fall in his first consi match, but in the “blood round” couldn’t get past Tampa Prep’s Ben Buhler, falling 5-0.

Complete brackets and results for all 34 teams in the tournament are posted on the website’s 15-16 IBTs page.

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Clay Rotary: Host Blue Devils Take Team Title

(Editor’s Note: Second of 3 stories planned. Third one later tonight. Looking for photo from Clay)

By SHANNON HEATON
Northeast Florida Matmen

GREEN COVE SPRINGS — Of course it’s possible for teams to win big tournaments way before the finals have even started; after all, Iowa’s legendary teams of the 1980s often did just that at the NCAA level.

For the most part, host Clay had followed in the footsteps of those who’ve done it before, and sewn up the team race of the 17th annual Clay Rotary tournament early on Saturday, with a lead that edged close to 100 points, at one point.

That massive cushion — built during the quarters and semis — helped overcome what Blue Devils coach Jim Reape termed a disappointing final round, as Matmen #3 Clay won just four matches in the place round. Those were enough to keep the Blue Devils well out in front of #1 Fleming Island, 305-238, for the team title.

“We had a great quarterfinal, a great semifinal round, gave great effort in those early rounds,” Reape said. “That wasn’t always the case in the finals. Sometimes we were outclassed in a couple of those matches, and I can’t complain a lot about that.

“But we had a couple of guys that were not performing up to their abilities. Pleased with the overall effort, I expected it would be a tough tournament and it was. Fleming Island should be on the podium in 3A and Bishop Moore and Arnold (who were third and fourth, respectively, in the team race) have some cats.”

Clay had 13 placers, plus two wrestlers that were just on the outside looking in, as 15 of 16 Blue Devil wrestlers won at least one match. Seven of those 13 placers were finalists.

Freshman Lou Gagliardo was the first one up for the Blue Devils at 106. Gagliardo had two falls and a decision to get to the semis, then had a walkover to the final when his scheduled opponent missed weight. In that final, third-ranked Gagliardo battled hard against statewide #4 Ethan Pickren of Arnold, but couldn’t keep Pickren from securing a takedown in sudden victory, falling 4-2. Reape’s take: “He gets wound up and a little jittery and we just have to help him adjust to that. Has to start hard right away.”

At 113, Peyton Hughes had two pins and then knocked two elite Matmen-area wrestlers to get to the final, with an 8-2 quarterfinal win over Matanzas’ Rocky Samples and then 10-9, 3-overtime, rideout victory over Fleming Island’s Deandre Demus. He also went overtime in the final with Sandalwood’s Jacques Hale, but couldn’t keep Hale from scoring there, falling 4-2. Reape’s take: “Wrestled a great tournament. Great win in the semis, just some strategy issues that we need to fix.”

Dale Browning reached the final at 126 behind two falls and a decision on Friday, then avenged an earlier-season loss to Raines’ Jaquan English with a second-period fall in 3:47. In the final, though, Browning couldn’t continue to build on that theme against Fleming Island’s Tracy Davis, giving up a pair of turns. Scoring in the third period didn’t give him enough comeback, as Davis took a 5-3 decision. Reape’s take: “Gave up his hands on the bottom, some bad habits that we have to correct.”

At 132, Derek Miller reached the final with a fall and two majors on Friday, nearly picking off a third major in the semifinals in a 9-2 decision over Tampa Prep’s Ashton Habeil. In the final, Miller couldn’t find a way to score against 2015 state champion Richie McClanahan, falling by a 5-1 decision. Reape’s take: “Derek got off the bottom pretty good, wrestled pretty well. Got in deep three times. But it’s one thing to finish a takedown and another thing to finish a takedown on a state champ. Have to finish the shot.”

Julian Summa made it back-to-back-to-back Clay finalists with an appearance in the 138 final. Summa had a major decision and two pins on Friday to get to the semis, and then did enough to outlast Sandalwood’s Cameron Bell, 3-2, to set up another rematch against Fleming Island’s Paul Detwiler. This time, Detwiler set the pace offensively, with enough takedowns to pull away from Summa, 9-3, in the championship match.

It was Clay again at 145, as Keath Sawdo was the top local finisher in the weight class. Sawdo had a major and decision to get to the semis, and was able to ride out Lincoln’s David Jackson there, winning 1-0. However, Sawdo couldn’t hold the score down against Tampa Prep’s Anthony Artalona in the final, as the #2-ranked in 1A Artalona rolled to a 17-3 decision. Reape’s take: “I can’t complain about Keith. He did as much as he could do against that kid, that kid’s just very solid.”

Finally, Kaleb Collins got another rematch with Fleming Island’s Jason Davis in the finals at 195. Collins had two falls and a decision on Friday, then outlasted Florida High’s Cam Brown, 3-2, in the semis Saturday. He was able to limit Davis to just one successful takedown, but didn’t counter with enough offense of his own, falling to Davis, 5-3. Reape’s take: “Just has to generate offense against Davis. That’s hard to do because Jason’s a load, a legitimate D2, possible D1 wrestler.”

One of the bright lights for Clay was the return of Jeremy Beaulieu to the lineup at 220 pounds, his first appearance of the season. Beaulieu’s only loss was in overtime in the semifinals, where he gave up a takedown on the edge right at the end of the 60 seconds to Fleming Island’s Jose Concepcion. Otherwise, Beaulieu had five pins, including two in the consis, with the third-place match a fall over Mandarin’s Garret Aby in 2 minutes, the longest time it took to get a pin.

Chris Merring finished fourth at 113 for Clay, reaching the semis behind a major and two falls, but he couldn’t make it an all-Clay final, losing to Sandalwood’s Hale, 6-4. He rallied for his second major over Bishop Moore’s Emauni Smithson, 9-0, in the consi semis, but then fell to Fleming Island’s Demus, 5-1, in the third-place match.

Also taking fourth was Roland Samec at 285, who had a strong tournament except in his matchups with Suwannee’s Rossie Williams. Williams beat Samec in the quarters, but Samec rallied with two falls and a consi-semi 3-2 decision over Thomas Moss of Lincoln, getting a rematch with Williams. This one went the way the first did, with Williams winning 5-2.

Dylan Taylor (120), Connor Green (152) and Caleb Steinmetz (170) each took fifth at their weights. Taylor lost to Fleming’s Jacob Sandoval, 4-2, in the quarters, but won two matches in the consis to earn a podium spot. He lost in the consi semis, but rallied for a 10-2 fifth-place win over Ridgeview’s Justin Trinh. At 152, Green lost in the quarters to Creekside’s Brandon Dickman, then won twice in the consi rounds, only to fall in the consi semis, but then won by injury-default over Oakleaf’s Luke Karl. Finally, Steinmetz reached the semis at 170, dropping a 10-5 decision to Florida High’s Will Haigler. Another loss in the consi semis led Steinmetz to the fifth-place match, where he shut out Episcopal’s Christian Rickey, 7-0.

Abbott Taylor (182) and Ryan Rivers (220) both were one match short of the podium. Taylor won two consi-round matches by fall after dropping a round-2 decision to Matanzas’ Maverick Dennis, but then lost by major decision to Lincoln’s Isaac Gutierrez-Tapia, 13-5, in the blood round. Rivers had three wins in the consi rounds after losing 6-0 to Middleburg’s Ammon Meeks in round 2, but then lost in overtime to Bishop Moore’s Mario Hernandez, 6-4, in the blood round.

Clay will conclude its season with duals at home Wednesday against Lee and on the road Thursday at #2 Flagler Palm Coast.

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Clay Rotary: The Rundown — Suwannee Shines

(First of eventual 3 stories planned)

By SHANNON HEATON
Northeast Florida Matmen

GREEN COVE SPRINGS — Suwannee might lack in numbers, but when the stakes are high, the Bulldogs have proven — as they did, for example, at last year’s 1A-Region 1 tournament — that they know how to compete all-in.

This past weekend, the Bulldogs woke up the echoes of that effort, as the Northeast Matmen coverage area’s third-highest team finisher. Suwannee was the only other Northeast team — after champion Clay and runnerup Fleming Island (their efforts coming up in future posts) — to finish in the top eight overall, taking 8th with 106 points in the tournament.

Suwannee had three placewinners and two wrestlers just on the outside looking in, as Rossie Williams (285) finished third and both Brandon Trask (106) and Billy Jenkins (160) were fourth in their weight classes.

Williams had one of the better stories of the weekend that didn’t result in a finals appearance or win, finding a way to get things done in the first three rounds of the tournament and reach the semis, including taking a 7-3 win over Clay’s Roland Samec in the quarters. Williams then battled eventual 285 champion Conor Chepenik of Episcopal to a near-standstill before falling, 3-1. He rallied quickly, pinning Bishop Kenny’s Josiah McCallum in the consi semis and then taking a second victory over Samec in the third-place match, 5-2.

Trask had to fight his way through the consi rounds to get to the podium after losing, 12-2, in the quarters to eventual champion Ethan Pickren of Arnold. Trask then had a major and decision in the consis to get to the podium, taking a walkover in the consi semis and pushing Fleming Island’s Albie Snedaker before falling, 4-2.

Jenkins did get to the semis at 160, earning a podium spot behind two falls and a decision. In the semis, Jenkins made Lincoln’s Jaycie Rudd work before falling, 7-3, but rallied for a 3-1 win over Fletcher’s Owen Beining in the consi semis and pushed Orange Park’s Nartorian Lee to double overtime, but couldn’t overcome Lee, dropping a 6-5 decision.

Joey Borrell (152) and Marcus Mapp (220) were both one match short of the podium in their weight classes. Borrell couldn’t get past Clay’s Connor Green on either side of the bracket, losing by fall in the second round and then again in a 5-2 loss in the consolation quarterfinals, more commonly known as the “blood round.” Mapp lost by fall in 52 seconds to eventual 220 champion Scott Dollison of Episcopal, and then won four matches by fall to get to his blood round, where he lost by fall to Mandarin’s Garret Abhy in 4:57.

Below follows a list of all other local teams that did NOT have an individual champion, plus a note or two on everyone who placed or was a match away from placing during the course of the weekend:

Orange Park (11th, 90 points) — The Raiders had three placers over the course of the weekend, led by Marcus Reid’s runnerup effort at 120. Reid had a fall, forfeit and decision to get to the semifinals, where he pinned Fleming Island’s Jacob Sandoval in 2:35. Reid then faced Bishop Moore’s Devin Kohn in the championship match, and couldn’t put moves together in a matchup of 2015 state qualifiers, as Kohn picked up a couple of turns en route to an 8-0 major decision. Nartorian Lee added a third at 160, reaching the semis with a fall and decision, but then fell 11-2 to eventual champion Leo Tarantino of Tampa Prep. Lee rallied with a 4-2 decision in the consi semis, edging Suwannee’s Jenkins, 6-5 in double OT, for third. Finally, Saeid Ejmali was sixth at 132, having to win four matches in the consis after dropping a 3-2 decision in round 2. Ejmali had three falls and an OT win during that run, losing 12-0 in the consi semis and then having to injury-default his fifth-place match to Tampa Jesuit’s Grayson Fisher.

Buchholz (13th, 79 points) — Only Gant Moore (126) walked away from the tournament with a top-six finish for the Bobcats. Moore reached the semis with two pins and a decision, but then fell 6-1 to eventual champion Tracy Davis of Fleming Island. Moore had few problems re-establishing positive momentum, winning twice by major decision over, first, Nease’s Tristen Lucessi (11-1) in the consi semis and then Raines’ Jaquan English (13-4) in the third-place match. The Bobcats had three wrestlers just on the outside of the podium in Andrique Broughton (120), Tommy Howell (132) and Gerald Rushing (170). Broughton was pinned in the quarters by eventual champion Devin Kohn of Bishop Moore, won a consi round by fall but then fell 4-2 to Ridgeview’s Justin Trinh in the blood round. Howell lost in the quarters at 132 to eventual runnerup Derek Miller of Clay, 11-2, rallied with a win in the consis, but then lost 5-0 in the blood round to Tampa Jesuit’s Grayson Fisher. Finally, Rushing lost in the quarters to Ridgeview’s Daryn Tucker Brown, had a tech fall win in the consis, but then lost 5-1 in the blood round to Mandarin’s Max Beavor.

Mandarin (14th, 78 points) — The Mustangs put together a solid tournament, with two placewinners and one just on the outside. Beavor (170) led Mandarin’s charge by taking third after losing in the quarters by tech fall to eventual champ Jonathan Shoen of Middleburg. From there, Beavor won three straight matches by decision, including a 6-3 win in the third-place match over Ridgeview’s Daryn Tucker Brown. Aby (220) added a fourth in his bracket, winning four consi matches after losing by fall in the second runnerup to eventual runnerup Jose Concepcion of Fleming Island. Aby then had a consi-semi forfeit victory over Lincoln’s Josh Martin, but couldn’t overcome the rush of Clay’s Jeremy Beaulieu, losing by fall in two minutes in the third-place match. Mandarin’s Mark Sweat (285) couldn’t get past Clay’s Roland Samec, losing to him in the second round and again in the blood round, both times by fall.

Columbia (T-16th, 68 points) — The Tigers were the lowest-finishing team in the tournament with a finalist, as Marcus Zeighler got there at 285, with Chace Curtis adding a third at 120. Zeighler had three falls to get to the semis Saturday, where he needed all he could summon to turn back Lincoln’s Thomas Moss, 2-1. In the final, Zeighler had the early lead, 3-2, over Episcopal’s Conor Chepenik, but couldn’t manage the late rush at the end, giving up a takedown in the final 10 seconds for a 5-3 decision loss. Curtis, at 120, had three bonus-point wins to reach the semis, where he lost by fall in 2:46 to eventual champ Devin Kohn of Bishop Moore. Curtis rallied with a 4-0 win in the consi semis and then pinned Fleming Island’s Jacob Sandoval in four minutes even for third.

Creekside (T-16th, 68 points) — The St Johns Knights were paced by a third from Gus Fischer at 195 and a fourth from Brandon Dickman at 152. Fischer reached the semis, with a rematch against eventual champion Jason Davis of Fleming Island, falling 11-2 by major there, but then needed just 30 seconds to right the ship in the consi semis, and then pushed the pace in the third-place match against Florida High’s Cam Brown, taking a 5-1 decision. Dickman also reached the semis, but then ran into a buzzsaw against Tampa Jesuit freshman Julian Ramirez (#1 in 2A), losing that match by fall in 2:45. Dickman got some momentum back in the consi semis, with a 4-2 win over Oakleaf’s Luke Karl, but then couldn’t keep it going against Arnold’s Paul Patterson, falling 3-1 in the third-place match. At 182, Willy Lulias was one match short of a top-six finish after losing in the quarters to eventual runnerup Brian Girard of Arnold, winning his first consi match but then falling to Bartram’s Stith, 2-0, in the blood round.

Fletcher (18th, 66 points) — Just one placewinner for the Senators, as Owen Beining took sixth at 160 after falling in the first round of the tournament. Beining had four wins on the backside after that loss (to a non-placer), with two falls, a decision and forfeit to secure the top-six finish. He then lost two narrow decisions, including a 4-2 loss to Florida High’s Drew Hostetter in the fifth-place match. Fletcher’s Dominick Belew (145) was one match short of placing, falling in the quarters Friday night and rallying for a 3-2 win in the consis before dropping a match in the blood round, 8-2, to Bishop Moore’s Brad Kata.

Matanzas (19th, 63 points) — The Pirates picked up two placers on the weekend, as Maverick Dennis (182) finished fourth and Tristan Kraus (138) was fifth. Dennis reached the semis in his bracket, but couldn’t get much offense going against eventual champ Brian Buser in that round, falling 12-5. Dennis pinned Bartram’s Stith in 2:30 in the consi semis, but then found himself locked up against Fleming Island’s Ryan Smenda in the third-place match, losing by fall in 4:07. Kraus lost by decision on Friday night in the quarters to Sandalwood’s Cameron Bell, but then rallied for two decisions to secure top-six. After a 9-0 loss to Bishop Moore in the consi semis, Kraus rallied with an 8-5 decision to take fifth over Tampa Jesuit’s Angel Dominguez.

Bartram Trail (20th, 61.5 points) — It was a tough weekend for the Bears, who picked up one podium finish from Stith at 182. Stith lost to eventual fellow placer Ryan Smenda of Fleming Island by fall in the quarters, but then had a fall and decision in the consi rounds to get to the semis, where he lost by fall to Matanzas’ Dennis. Stith then placed fifth with an injury-default win over Lincoln’s Isaac Gutierrez-Tapia. Additionally, John Wilson (195) was one match short of placing after losing in the first round. Wilson won three times in the consis, but then fell, 5-3, to Middleburg’s Kurt Jackson in the blood round.

Oakleaf (21st, 61 points) — The Knights picked up a pair of sixth-place finishes, neither coming under ideal circumstances. Karl (152) reached the quarters, where he lost to Arnold’s Paul Patterson, 12-1. He then won twice in the consis to secure a podium spot, losing to Creekside’s Dickman in the consi semis, and then sustained an injury in the fifth-place match against Clay’s Connor Green, requiring a default. At 106, Ryan Rosano qualified for the semis with a fall, decision and disqualification win, but then missed weight on Saturday, forcing a sixth-place finish. Ethan Gustilo (132) lost in the first round, but then rallied for three consi-round victories before losing by major to Middleburg’s Dylan Rossetti, 21-9, in the blood round.

Bishop Kenny (22nd, 60 points) — The Crusaders had one placewinner in Josiah McCallum (285), who got a measure of revenge for a round 2 loss by fall against Fleming Island’s Brandyne Mackey. McCallum then had two falls in the consi rounds, knocking Mackey off the podium with a 3-1 victory in overtime to take a spot instead. McCallum then lost in the consi semis by fall to Suwannee’s Williams, and forfeited fifth place to Lincoln’s Thomas Moss. Kenny’s Nick Beenen (160) was one match short of the podium after three consi-round wins, falling to Fletcher’s Beining by fall.

Ridgeview (24th, 48.5 points) — The Clay County Panthers had two placers, as Brown was fourth at 170 and Trinh took sixth at 120. Brown reached the semis, falling there to eventual champ Jonathan Shoen of Middleburg by fall in 46 seconds. Brown rallied with an 11-3 major over Episcopal’s Christian Rickey, but couldn’t get offense going against Mandarin’s Beavor in the third-place match, taking fourth. At 120, Trinh lost in the quarters to Columbia’s Curtis, but had two wins on the backside to punch a ticket for the podium. From there, he had two losses by major, falling 10-2 to Clay’s Dylan Taylor to take sixth.

Nease (25th, 46.5 points) — Tristen Lucessi (126), making his final drop for the post-season, had some solid wins in the new weight class, taking fifth. Lucessi lost by decision to eventual runnerup Dale Browning of Clay, 7-1 in the quarters, rallying with two decisions in the consi rounds to earn his spot. While he fell, 11-1, to Buchholz’s Moore in the consi semis, he placed fifth with an injury-default victory over Middleburg’s Dylan Rossetti.

Raines (29th, 32 points) — The Vikings’ Jaquan English (126) qualified with two pins for the semifinals, where he had a rematch with Clay’s Dale Browning. This time, it was Browning that had the advantage, pinning English in 3:47. English majored Middleburg’s Dylan Rossetti, 16-6, in the consi semis, but then fell victim to a major, 13-4, against Buchholz’s Moore, to finish fourth. Additionally, Daisean Biffle was one match short of the podium at 138, losing by tech in the quarters against eventual champ Paul Detwiler of Fleming Island. Biffle had one consi win, but lost in the blood round by third-period fall to Tampa Jesuit.

Palatka (31st, 27.5 points) — Bryan Smith (195) was the Panthers’ one placewinner on the weekend, taking sixth. Smith lost in the quarters to eventual champion Jason Davis of Fleming Island, and secured his podium spot with a forfeit win and major decision in the consi rounds, but then lost twice by fall, the second time against Middleburg’s Kurt Jackson in 2:09 to take sixth.

Five teams could not crack through with one podium finish over the course of the weekend, although two did have wrestlers that were just one match away.

Englewood had two wrestlers just outside the podium, taking 23rd place in the standings with 49.5 points. At 152, Tavian Whitehead lost by fall in the quarters, winning one match in the consi round, but Oakleaf’s Karl decisioned him in the blood round, 14-9. At 160, Zykeim Sermons was also on the outside looking in after losing by fall in the quarters to Lincoln’s Jaycie Rudd. He had a consi win, but then lost by fall to Florida High’s Drew Hostetter.

West Nassau was 28th with 36 points, led by 195-pound Daniel Boylan. Boylan won three matches in the consis after losing to Fleming Island’s Davis in the second round, but lost, 13-2, to Palatka’s Smith to fall outside the medal round.

Bolles was 27th, with 40 points, while Ponte Vedra took 30th with 29 and Bishop Snyder was 33rd with 14.

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Please Allow Me

Writing is in progress. We’ll actually have three stories when all said and done from Clay. My Northwest side story is done.

First story for Northeast will run through the list of teams with no champions, giving some run to placers and those who were 1 match away.

Second story will discuss Clay’s team title effort.

Third story will highlight the teams with individual champions: Fleming Island, Middleburg, Sandalwood & Episcopal.

Am still looking for results from the Westside Duals, Five Star Conference and Crystal River duals. Have fixes, still, planned for the Fleming Island/Arnold dual and the FPC/Osceola dual (those are a bit cosmetic, but accuracy requires). Don’t know what all gets done this afternoon before some much-needed maintenance takes place, but we’ll do our best to at least get Clay fully knocked out.

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Clay Rotary First-Day Story

By SHANNON HEATON
Northeast Florida Matmen

GREEN COVE SPRINGS — Some of the state’s best wrestling teams are in Clay County this weekend. A few are there year-round.

And Friday, Clay County teams found themselves atop the first-day standings at its two-day Rotary IBT tournament, with the Matmen #3-ranked Blue Devils first with 158 points and #1 Fleming Island second at 137.

Lincoln is a distant third, with 94 points, followed by Arnold (88.5), Bishop Moore (87), Tampa Jesuit (66.5), Suwannee (66), Buchholz (58.5), Orange Park (55) and Tampa Prep (51.5) in the top-10.

Semifinals and consolation-round 3 action kick off Saturday’s wrestling, with the finals planned to begin around 4 p.m. Saturday afternoon.

Follow @NEFloridaMatmen for tweets from the semifinal round and full live-tweeting of each of the finals matches. We’ll have interviews — Northeast kids with that site’s game story and Northwest kids with that site’s game story — with each Matmen-area champion.

A list of semifinalists follows (full first-day brackets are found on the Matmen 15-16 IBTs page):

  • 106: Lou Gagliardo (Clay) v. Ryan Rosano (Oakleaf); Albie Snedaker (Fleming Island) v. Ethan Pickren (Arnold).
  • 113: Deandre Demus (Fleming Island) v. Peyton Hughes (Clay); Jacques Hale (Sandalwood) v. Chris Merring (Clay).
  • 120: Marcus Reid (Orange Park) v. Jacob Sandoval (Clay); Chace Curtis (Columbia) v. Devin Kohn (Bishop Moore).
  • 126: Tracy Davis (Fleming Island) v. Gant Moore (Buchholz); Dale Browning (Clay) v. Jaquan English (Raines).
  • 132: Richie McClanahan (Arnold) v. Xaiver Sampsel (Fleming Island); Derek Miller (Clay) v. Ashton Habiel (Tampa Prep).
  • 138: Julian Summa (Clay) v. Cameron Bell (Sandalwood); Aaron Mason (Bishop Moore) v. Paul Detwiler (Fleming Island).
  • 145: Anthony Artalona (Tampa Prep) v. Dylan Tuttle (Arnold); David Jackson (Lincoln) v. Keath Sawdo (Clay).
  • 152: Julian Ramirez (Tampa Jesuit) v. Brandon Dickman (Creekside); Ryan Violette (Bishop Moore) v. Paul Patterson (Arnold).
  • 160: Leo Tarantino (Tampa Prep) v. Nartorian Lee (Orange Park); Billy Jenkins (Suwannee) v. Jaycie Rudd (Lincoln).
  • 170: Jonathan Shoen (Middleburg) v. Daryn Tucker Brown (Ridgeview); Caleb Steinmetz (Clay) v. Will Haigler (Florida High).
  • 182: Brian Buser (Tampa Jesuit) v. Maverick Dennis (Matanzas); Brian Girard (Arnold) v. Ryan Smenda (Fleming Island).
  • 195: Jason Davis (Fleming Island) v. Gus Fischer (Creekside); Cam Brown (Florida High) v. Kaleb Collins (Clay).
  • 220: Jose Concepcion (Fleming Island v. Jeremy Beaulieu (Clay); Scott Dollison (Episcopal) v. Josh Martin (Lincoln).
  • 285: Marcus Zeighler (Columbia) v. Thomas Moss (Lincoln); Conor Chepenik (Episcopal) v. Rossie Williams (Suwannee).
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Clay-bound

Shortly. Less than 10 minutes. Will update the Fleming-Arnold info upon my return. Didn’t get near as much stuff done as I wanted to.

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Recap: 02/04/16 Duals

Northeast Florida Matmen staff report

KISSIMMEE — As of Monday, Scout had Matmen #2 Flagler Palm Coast and Osceola tied for fifth statewide in Class 3A.

While the dual between the Bulldogs and Kowboys might have been an unofficial tiebreaker of sorts, any matchup of two teams with 15 state-ranked wrestlers will provoke a lot of interest statewide.

When the smoke cleared at Osceola, it was the Kowboys — with their trio of top-ranked wrestlers — that had come out on top in a 39-25 final outcome.

The dual featured four matches where both wrestlers were state-ranked, and both teams won two of those.

Palm Coast picked up its first of these at 113, where statewide #4 Avery Holder had little trouble with #16 Saul Mayorga, taking a 12-3 major decision.

Later, at 152, top-ranked Kaz Maia stayed undefeated, but 12th-ranked Gavin Arnold didn’t make it easy, as Maia outlasted Arnold in a 3-1 decision.

Osceola’s ranked head-to-head victories resulted in bonus points for the Kowboys, as Blake Fuller (16th at 138) pinned Evyn Insalaco and — in a battle of 1 vs 3 at 160 — top-ranked Giovanny Bonilla won by technical fall over the Bulldogs’ Eric Rosso.

Flagler (19-3) got a tech fall of its own from Michael DeAugustino (120), with Nick Woolison making his first appearance with the varsity a memorable one, securing a fall at 195.

The Bulldogs return to action a bit closer to home on Saturday, competing in Deland at the Five Star Conference meet.

Triangular at Baker County: At Glen St. Mary, the host Wildcats took a pair of victories, turning back both Bradford (65-15) and Terry Parker (46-26).

In the third match of the evening, the Tornadoes edged the Braves, 36-30.

Double winners for the Wildcats were Sydney Williams (106), Carson Padgett (113), Robbie Martin (132, 1 pin), Earl Starling (145, pin & major), Caleb Griffin (152, 2 pins), James Burnett (170, 2 pins), Josh Ossmann (195, 1 tech), Corey Paine (220, 1 pin).

Chris Walker (120, pin & tech), Landon Dains (160, 2 pins) and Aquana McCalop (182, 1 decision) were all 2-0 for Terry Parker, and tHe Tornadoes had two wrestlers win twice, in Jason Griffis (126) and Dylan Drow (138, 1 pin).

Terry Parker and Bradford will be at FSDB’s quad meet on Tuesday night, while Baker County is off until Thursday, when the Wildcats host FSDB and Yulee.

Fleming Island hosts Arnold: Results from 12 of the 14 matches wrestled have been put on Trackwrestling. Multiple checks, both last night and today, have not revealed a full and complete update (results missing from matches at 120 and 126). When those are fully put on the site, a full writeup can occur. Both teams are at the Green Cove Springs Rotary, hosted by Clay, on Friday and Saturday.

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